You've just sat down to watch "Les Miserables" and Russell Crowe's opened his mouth to bark, when the air is filled with the sound of... marimba? As you scramble to switch your phone to silent, you can look forward to Microsoft's vision of a future in which phones silence themselves when they realize they're in a movie theater.
Microsoft has filed a patent, spotted by InfoWorld, that allows your phone to put itself into "an inconspicuous mode of operation" in certain circumstances. Inconspicuous mode makes it sound like KITT going invisible when chased by bad guys with big flapping collars or something, and is in fact silent mode on steroids.
Not only does the ringtone go silent, but the screen brightness is lowered, and new alerts, such as texts, are simplified to be less distracting. That's handy not just for trips to the local fleapit but also concerts, meetings, classrooms, libraries, or even when you go to bed.
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